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View Diary: Give Chafee Some Credit (27 comments)

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  •  But Remember (0+ / 0-)

    Goldwater is a figure who bears closer study.  He was a true conservative, who genuinely believed in smaller government.  He would have had no time for today's big-spending social conservatives and "neo-cons."  This is most epitomized in his attitude toward gays, which was essentially, "It's none of governemnt's business."  In some ways he was so far right he'd circled around to the left again

    But Remember, Goldwater opposed the civil rights movement and exploited oppossition to it in the south and viola, the "southern startegy" was born and we as a nation have been paying dearly for it ever since.

    •  Agreed (2+ / 0-)
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      Ducktape, fairfax

      I'm just saying he's a more interesting and complicated figure than one might think at first glance.  And unlike many of today's pols, he actually BELIEVED what he said.  That counts for something, even when you disagree.

      •  Yes (1+ / 0-)
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        He also hated to see billions of dollars thrown away on military pork spending, I remember seeing him being interviewed by someone many years ago, maybe Charlie Rose, and he related how he managed to block appropriations for a plane that Al D'Amato was all hot for (it would have been built by Grumman which was then located in D'Amato's Nassau County, Long Island territory).  Goldwater told of actually going up and flying the plane, saying it was a very nice one, but we already had others just as good, and managing to kill it.  He also broke down in tears when discussing his late wife Peggy (she had died a year or two before), and spoke of his regrets about having pretty much abandoned her and the kids during most of his first stretch of duty in the Senate, and ended with some advice to anyone interested in a career in the upper reaches of politics:  Go home, hug the wife and kids, spend more time with them and less time prowling the halls of Congress and on the rubber chicken circuit, because the thing you'll regret most when you're old is not having been there when they were young.  He was relaxed and smiling when he said that, but you could see the pain behind the grin and the sparkling eyes.

    •  No, actually, he did not. (0+ / 0-)

      One thing to understand about Goldwater was that he was principled ... and uncompromising. He had voted FOR all of the civil rights bills up until the 1964 bill, and didn't then because of his interpretation of the effect that certain elements of its language would have. That was the "uncompromising" part.

      Of course, that was WAY too nuanced for all those rednecks who just decided that - yay! - they finally had a fellow racist they could vote for. I was in Alabama in 1964, and my parents had been working trying to get the Republican Party established as a viable alternative instead of just the RINOs who got the Post Office jobs when the Republicans took the White House. I saw all those racists flooding over -- the same ones that, two years before, I'd been fighting against when I would walk black people into the court house to register to vote.

      Listen to Goldwater's actual words. He despised the religious right and said that, in the future, they'd probably call him a liberal. He was very much a conservationist. He also said what came to his mind and, if someone misinterpreted it, that was their problem. Of course, that characteristic also was how he was used as an icon for authoritarian conservatives (instead of the libertarian conservatives, which he was), as well as the race politics of Nixon's Southern Strategy.

      And, by the way, he just despised Nixon. In the last election where he expressed a public preference, it was for the local Democratic candidate, and that so pissed off the Republican Party of AZ that they tried to have his name taken off the buildings they'd put it on.

      Barry Goldwater was a righteous dude and a man of character. I never did agree with everything he stood for, but I never doubted his sincerity or honesty,

      America will never again be the land of the free... Until she again becomes the home of the brave.

      by Ducktape on Fri Nov 10, 2006 at 11:40:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  And the payoff of the Southern Strategy (0+ / 0-)

      is that it's now a Southern Party who alienated themselves out of the majority.  Goldwater was, then, good all around!

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